Long live, Nida Fazli: The poet who inspired communal harmony

He never agreed with the Partition, remaining its lifelong critic and an opponent of divisive politics.

 |  2-minute read |   09-02-2016
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Multi-hyphenate Nida Fazli died in Mumbai on February 8 at the age of 78 following a heart failure. Poetry lovers like us grieve the recent passing of the great soul.

Celebrated Urdu and Hindi poet Nida Fazli was one of the pillars whose contribution will continue to inspire and influence many hearts in the generations to come.

Born into a Kashmiri family in Delhi on October 12, 1938, Muqtida Hasan Nida Fazli popularly known as Nida Fazli was a poet and philosopher of various moods and, to him, creative sentiment and inner urge were the sources of poetry. He was an era in himself that informed, educated and taught ways of living in this contemporary world through his philosophical works.

A magical realist in poetry, Fazli developed a sense of stepping out from normal territories and encountering the familiar strangeness of the world. Though his family migrated to Pakistan during the Partition, Fazli, who was just nine then, decided to stay back in India. Throughout his life the pain of separation and loneliness found expression in poetry. He never agreed with the Partition, remaining its lifelong critic and an opponent of communal, divisive politics. He penned down the most subtle comparison between the two countries after his visit to Pakistan, which reads:

  • Insaan mein haiwaan, yahan bhi hain wahan bhi
  • Allah nigehbaan, yahan bhi hai wahan bhi
  • Khoonkhar darindon ke, faqat naam alag hain
  • Shehron mein bayabaan, yahan bhi hain wahan bhi
  • Rehman ki qudrat ho ya, Bhagwan ki moorat
  • Her khel ka maidan, yahan bhi hai wahan bhi
  • Hindu bhi mazey mein hain, Muslmaan bhi mazey mein
  • Insaan pareshan, yahan bhi hai wahan bhi
  • Uthta hai dil-o-jaan se, dhuaan donon taraf hi
  • Ye Mir ke deewan yahan bhi hain wahan bhi.

He remained an advocate of communal harmony. Criticising the conflict on sectarian basis, Fazli wrote:

Koi Hindu, koi Muslim, koi issai hai,

sabne insaan Na Hone ki qasam khayi hai.

He truly summed up the journey and philosophy of this uncertain and uncontrolled life in this beautiful couplet which goes:

Ek musaafir ke safar jaisi hai sab ki duniya,

koi jaldi mein koi der se jaane waala.

Fazli was awarded the prestigious Sahitya Akademi Award in 1998 and conferred the Padma Shri in 2013. His death is a great loss for Indian literature. Long live, Nida Fazli. You were an asset never to be lost.

Writer

Shah Alam Shah Alam

An alumnus of Aligarh Muslim University, currently working as an assistant professor of Women’s Studies at Jamia Millia Islamia, New Delhi.

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